Good WWI Books?


January 15, 2003, 10:51 AM
I have read ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, Alvin Yorks biography and have A RIFLEMAN WENT TO WAR on order. Any other really outstanding WWI reads?

Also can anyone recommend any good books on the Boer war?

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January 15, 2003, 10:56 AM
On the Boer War, try:

GOODBYE DOLLY GRAY - can't remember author
COMMANDO - Deneys Reitz
RAGS OF GLORY (novel) - Stuart Cloete

World War 1 - too numerous to list (really). Best overall history - THE FIRST WORLD WAR by John Keegan. Also: THE GUNS OF AUGUST and THE ZIMMERMANN TELEGRAM - Barbara Tuchmann.

January 15, 2003, 10:59 AM
British Butchers and Bunglers of World War One, by John Laffin.
Eye Deep In Hell: Trench Warfare in WWI, by John Ellis.

Several by Osprey Publishing, including:

German Stormtrooper: 1914-1918 and British Tommy: 1914-1918, both in the "Warrior" series, and World War One Trench Warfare (1): 1914-1916 & World War One Trench Warfare (2): 1916-1918 , both in the "Elite" series.

January 15, 2003, 11:00 AM
The First World War by John Keegan

January 15, 2003, 11:08 AM
Agree with Preacherman. "The Guns of August" by Barbara Tuchman is excellent reading.

4v50 Gary
January 15, 2003, 11:22 AM
Infanterie Grief An or Infantry Attacks by Capt. Erwin Rommel - must read account of young Rommel's exploits as an infantryman in Rumania and in Italy.

January 15, 2003, 11:40 AM
The Great Adventure-Fredericks
No Man's Land-Toland
Testament of Youth-Brittain
War in the Trenches-Lloyd
Death of a Generation-Horne
The Doughboys-Stallings

Jeff White
January 15, 2003, 11:43 AM
Don't forget McBride's other excellent book; The Emma Gees .


January 15, 2003, 01:47 PM
The Price of Glory by Alistair Horne. About the Battle of Verdun

January 15, 2003, 01:55 PM
Keegan's books are all good. Also S.L.A. Marshall's World War I.

January 15, 2003, 03:08 PM
MacDonald, Lyn - both "1914" and "Somme" are the best of the lot, but there's also "The First Year of Fighting", "1915- The Death of Innocence", "Passchendale" and "To The Last Man".
Kinnert, Lee - "The First War in the Air" A good overview of the development of air power in the early years.

Vaughn, Edward Campion - "Some Desperate Glory". Apparently Vaughn wrote this book as an attempt to chase away the nightmares and never intended it to be published. His son found it in his father's gardening shed after his death and had it published.
Sassoon, Siegfried - "Memoirs of an Infantry Officer" but if you can get the three volumn set, "Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man" it's very good. Sassoon is also well-known as one of the war poets.
Junger, Ernst - "The Storm of Steel" very good, but graphic.
Carrington, Charles - "A Subaltern's War" Political in tone, gives you a good idea of why the Communists won so many converts after the war.
Graves, Robert - "Goodbye to all That" A fine, fine book, a great work of literature on it's own right. Sometimes hard to find in the U.S.

That's it off the top of my head. More if I get a chance.

January 15, 2003, 03:38 PM
What Strayhorne said....

Baba Louie
January 15, 2003, 04:52 PM
Fix Bayonets by John Thomason if you're like reading about the US Marines

January 15, 2003, 06:31 PM
If you are not limiting yourself to land combat, try the following on the naval side.

'The Last Gentleman of War' the Raider exploits of the Cruiser Emden. By R.K. Lochner. Pretty good reading.

January 15, 2003, 07:31 PM
in todays mail i recieved "the lost battalion" by Thomas Johnson & Fletcher Pratt. looks like its going to be a good read.

Stephen Ewing
January 15, 2003, 07:58 PM
I've read a fair number of the previous suggestions, and endorse all I'm familiar with, especially Keegan and Lochner. Also:

Dreadnought, by Massie.
The Politics of Hunger, author forgotten.
The Pity of War, by Niall Ferguson. Not sure I agree with him, but he sure argues pretty.
The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben, author forgotten. Explains much of the German war effort.

You'd be amazed how many famous WWII figures had interesting WWI experiences. Besides Rommel, MacArthur, Patton, and Monty distinguished themselves.

I keep hearing good things about Pershing's memoirs, and "Russia leaves the War." Wish I could remember who wrote the latter. If the West Point Military History Series makes a book on a subject, buy it immediately.

All poetry by Wilfred Owen, of "Dulce et Decorum est" fame.

The surreal suggestion is Mein Kampf. I know that it's mostly gibberish, and I know that most copies sold in the '30s were "coffee-table books" and never read, but the perceptions of WWI in that book must have meant something to a fair number of the losers, so I believe that at some point it becomes worth reading to complete what is already a fairly detailed picture. The views on world history in general I recall as, um, erratic, and won't re-read the darn thing to sort out after all these years. Still, it's about as close to lucid as the author ever got.

For a firearms-related content, how about "The German Sniper 1914-1945"?


January 15, 2003, 08:04 PM
"Johnny Got His Gun" by Dalton Trumbo. Read it and you'll never forget it.

another okie
January 15, 2003, 08:11 PM
Paul Fussell, the Great War and Modern Memory. Outstanding on how those doing the fighting remembered, wrote about it, talked about it.

4v50 Gary
January 15, 2003, 08:25 PM
Last Gentleman of War from Naval Institute Press. It's about the light cruiser SMS Emden and her skipper, Von Muller. It's rather contemporary and well written.

BTW Tamara, what's the name of the German general who developed the infiltration tactics? Hurtier or something like that?

January 15, 2003, 10:52 PM
The First World War - A Complete History

by Martin Gilbert

January 16, 2003, 07:38 AM
There's a very good french novel on infantry life in WWI called "Le Feu." There is an English translation called "The Fire." This novel is very dark and surrealistic, but gives a good impression of what it was like to be in the trenches. It was written by a French infantry officer. Hard to find, long out of print, but worth the read if you can find it.

January 16, 2003, 08:36 AM
BTW Tamara, what's the name of the German general who developed the infiltration tactics? Hurtier or something like that?

Probably that honor should go to Captain Willy Rohr. His Sturmabteilung wrote the book on the stuff...

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